Reasons, normativity, and value in aesthetics

Philosophy Compass 17 (1):1-17 (2021)
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Discussions of aesthetic reasons and normativity are becoming increasingly popular. This piece outlines six basic questions about aesthetic reasons, normativity, and value and discusses the space of possible answers to these questions. I divide the terrain into two groups of three questions each. First are questions about the shape of aesthetic reasons: what they favour, how strong they are, and where they come from. Second are relational questions about how aesthetic reasons fit into the wider normative landscape: whether they are distinctive, what their normative status is, and how they interact with each other and with non-aesthetic reasons. This piece aims to provide a taxonomy to clarify and organise the burgeoning literature and to make a few concrete suggestions for avenues of future research.

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Alex King
Simon Fraser University


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